Levis Proves Selling on Facebook is OK

Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 11, 2010

Whenever I give a workshop and start talking about selling on Facebook, someone eventually raises their hand and comments, “I thought if I try to sell something on Facebook that they would shut me down.” If you try to blatently spam your followers like crazy from your main Facebook account, then sure, you run the possibility of Facebook blocking your account.

But Levis are selling on Facebook just fine according to DMNews, where they talked about how Levis has made a page for their pants and are building quite the following as a result of their Facebook page promotions.

You don’t have to be Levis to sell product through Facebook. You just need to create individual Facebook “pages” for the product you’re wanting to promote and do all your promotions through those pages.

Free Internet Marketing Workshop in Denver Colorado May 5th, 2010

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Apr 11, 2010

Using the Internet to grow your business has dramatically changed over the past few years. If you’ve been misled into thinking all it takes to be successful online today is getting a few hundred followers on Twitter, spending hours a day “Facebooking” or gaining top placement on Google for only your business name, we’d like to offer you a reality check…and a path for hope.

On Wednesday, May 5th, from 9am-noon, Zakary Barron of Constant Contact and I, Marty Dickinson of HereNextYear, Inc., and co-author of Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies (Wiley, 2009), will team-up to offer a very unique 3-hour Internet marketing training live workshop called “Profit Again in 2010.”

First, I will cover:

• The new evolution of websites and why it doesn’t make sense to use anything else for your business
• Hot strategies that are working this month for converting more of your website visitors to leads and paying customers, including less text and more video
• Updates on Google’s organic search mix and how real-time search and video is impacting your traffic today
• How the Internet marketing “heavy hitters” get more traffic to their websites using my “Traffic Triangle” process (You won’t hear about this at a Meet-up group!)
• How to get 300 minutes of benefit from every 30 minutes you spend on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin

Then, we’ll switch gears and have Zakary present the enormous power and process of more effective email marketing, including how to:

• Use best practices and winning strategies in your email marketing
• Get and keep quality subscribers
• Increase your deliverability and open rates
• Create more compelling content
• Integrate video into your email campaigns

This is your opportunity to learn the true cutting edge online strategies for today in simple step-by-step sequences you will be able to apply immediately to your own business promotion efforts.

Learn from valuable case studies of how other businesses have effectively used these important Internet marketing and email marketing techniques to boost their business.

Join us on May 5th at the Grand Hyatt Denver (Downtown at 17th & Welton). You must RSVP to this free event and we are sure to fill the room before the date arrives. So, do not hesitate.

Don’t wait. Click Here NOW to Sign-up today and get ready to Profit Again in 2010!

Copywriting Tips: Writing Features and Benefits of a Product

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Mar 15, 2010

My most challenging part of copywriting has always been writing features and benefits of a product. I could come up with stories, headlines, price offers in minutes and all the fancy Buy Now! buttons you’d need to fill a sales page. But, it was the benefits list that always drove me crazy; until I discovered an important point about benefits lists. People don’t care about the features nearly as much as they want to know the benefits.

Then I started to take a closer look at what benefits really are. They’re action items, right? You “save” money or “stop” wasting time, for example. So, why not start out all benefit statements with verbs?

A few days ago, I had to come up with a benefits list for a coordinated Amazon book launch we’re involved with. I knew I needed at least 10 benefits for the sales page where we hope to inspire the authors of the book to pay my team a package deal special to help plan their bonus giveaways. So, when someone buys a book during the booklaunch period, the purchaser will get access to bonuses.

Within only 20 minutes, I came up with 20 benefits of having a bonus during an Amazon campaign. Here are five of them just so you get an idea:

Notice how each benefit statement starts out with an action verb. This is the secret to writing benefits lists in under 20 minutes. Now all you need is a good list of verbs to use in your writing. That list, I use several times per week. Bookmark it so that you can refer to it often and enjoy your newly found method for writing action verb benefits lists.

Can Internet Taxation Kill the Internet?

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 15, 2010

If you are an affiliate marketer who lives in Rhode Island, and want to promote a book or other Amazon product on your website for commission, forget it. Amazon will not let you become an affiliate to sell their wares. Why? Because Rhode Island taxes the Internet.

This is the look of things to come I’m afraid. Tax the web and watch companies stop selling things online. It’s just too much of a management load to account for taxes on every possible transaction and companies are not going to stand for it.

Unfortunately, as this taxation disease spreads, people will finally take a stand shouting “What are you doing to us!!” And, there will be some big movement then to reverse the process.

But, laws are much easier to prevent than they are reversing. And, there is no one in Washington to really stop this from happening.

I came across this video from Rob McNealy who is campaigning on a local level for office. He has a huge presence on Twitter and has used the Internet for years to earn his living.

You would be wise to support his effort financially or otherwise. We need someone representing us in Washington and here’s your chance to help get him there.


Profit Again in 2010 Workshop

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 7, 2010

Using the Internet to grow your business has dramatically changed since the beginning of 2009. If you’ve been misled into thinking all it takes to be successful online today is getting a few hundred followers on Twitter, spending hours a day “Facebooking” or gaining top placement on Google for your book title or business name, we’d like to offer you a reality check…and a path for hope…for the new year!

Throughout 2010 I will be offering a new workshop called, fittingly, “Profit Again in 2010.

If you’re not familiar with me, I’m a 15-year Internet marketing “lifer,” co-authored of “Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies” (Wiley 2009), and I’ll be using this workshop to update you on the radical progression of WordPress websites, blogs, traffic building, social networking, rss, podcasting, Federal Trade Commission restrictions and Google banning since just a year ago.

I don’t just “write and speak” about Internet marketing. I create and promotes my own products, manuals, and membership sites, with more than 100 of my own websites. Myself, along with a team of 7 at HereNextYear, Inc. have serviced more than 300+ clients nationwide.

For just one of those clients this past August, we launched just one website that enjoyed 99 product pages indexed on top of Google within 3 days. By the end of the first week, the site brought in more than $3,826 in sales. By Thanksgiving, the site delivered its first $100,000 in revenue.

Coincidence? No way. It’s the same process for any business, author or speaker…every time. All you have to do is find where you are in the process and plug in.

True success of any financial measure for your book, product or business will be no accident or stroke of luck. And, in today’s economy, you can’t afford to shoot darts at a wall in the dark!

You won’t find overnight riches or make that elusive “money while you sleep” with a casual, ho-hum approach.

And it won’t happen by changing a few meta tags on your home page.

What’s the answer? P.T.A.

1. Plug-in
2. Team-up
3. Accelerate

That’s right, just three simple steps.

First, you must identify where you are in the Internet marketing process and “plug-in” to that process. The success plan online is almost exactly the same for every business, author or speaker and hasn’t changed in almost 15 years! All you have to do is discover the process, find out where you are in that process and plug-in.

Second, team-up with those that can help you implement the process. Hiring a random website designer from Craigslist or someone from a foreign country just because you can get services for 20 cents on the dollar might have helped five years ago, but outsourcing today only helps you if you are an experienced Internet marketing project manager. You need to start now to form a devoted team that will be at your side for years to come to help you with technical challenges and smart and calculated marketing planning.

Third, only after you know the process and have a team to rely on can you expect to accelerate implementation and see the rewards.

Specifically, here’s what I will cover during any Profit Again in 2010 workshop, seminar, full-day training, or 20-minute speech:

-My 3-step process to predict whether your product or book can even be sold online or whether you should just throw it in the trash and move on

-Why Google has banned more than 150,000 websites for life in just the past month…and how to avoid being next!

-The FTC’s crackdown on misuse of testimonials and affiliate marketing and what you need to do to protect yourself from being accused of false claims…The CAN SPAM Act was only the beginning to this!

-Why every business owner, author and speaker should have “5″ websites or more…even if your competition already does!

-What keyword phrases the human population is searching online for and how you can stand in the way and benefit from that traffic

-The “new” evolution of websites and why it doesn’t even make sense to have anything else

-The secrets of social networking automation that only those with 2,000 Twitter followers or more even know about.

-How to get 300 minutes of social networking benefit for every 30 minutes you spend

-The Article Marketing Underground Triangle: How to write an article once and use what you’ve written for explosive reach to more than 30,000 websites, video directories and bookmarking sites for obscene traffic flooding whenever you want it.

-Plus, I will reveal my most closely held secret to managing what should be 10 hours a day of promotion productivity that gets accomplished in less than 60 minutes…every day.

As we roll out this essential program, look for specific dates and locations to be accessible through our main website at HereNextYear.com on our Workshops page.

50 Ways to Kill a Perfectly Good Seminar

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Nov 20, 2009

If you agree to speak at enough seminars, or attempt to start one and promote it yourself, the day will come when a seminar you are a part of fails completely and you’ve lost any investment you put into the event. You arrive and simply no one is there to fill the room.

Since the first paid workshop I conducted in 2003 with just 9 people in attendance (a sold-out room by the way) in November 2003, I can remember only once since did I “cancel” a workshop. And, I vowed to never let it happen again.

This past weekend, I flew to the destination where I was invited to speak and even planned an extended stay with relatives. 18 hours before the event would begin, I received word that the entire event had been canceled due to lack of attendees.

The economy is a contributor maybe. People claim they don’t have the money to pay for “anything” let alone a seminar. People pull the “sales pitch” card that they don’t want to pay money only to get sold to. People will find any excuse, such as “too close to Thanksgiving” in this case, in order to prolong their education of cutting-edge material.

Have you ever wondered who is truly at a loss when a seminar bottoms up? Is it the speakers? Heck no! It was only a couple hundred bucks to fly out there and two nights in a hotel. I made that back in new sales from my websites before I even checked out of the hotel!

We just go back to business as usual and do what we do best. It’s the audience, I believe, that really loses out. They’re given the opportunity to hear genuine content about what’s working now…today, and they pass it up.

We as a society have completely lost the understanding of why we should attend seminars and it’s beyond frustrating for me. In fact, it makes me feel like I’m letting people down when I can’t get through to them the importance of their attendance.

I mean, I have a client that has just crossed the $100,000 mark of sales coming in through his shopping cart website. That means actually selling product online. And, we just launched the thing in August! Don’t you think people would be interested to know that there really are people making money on the Internet and how we made it happen?

We had 99 products for that site on TOP of Google’s organic search … in three “3″ days! Wouldn’t you think people would want to know how we did that?

I’ve always had an interest in what makes successful seminars happen. I’ve run “the pit” as we used to call it, at three Brian Tracy events full of volunteers who sold $100,000 worth of back-of-the-room product in under 20 minutes! I’ve served on the planning and promotion team for two Capital Factor events here in Denver that sucked who knows how many hours of devotion over 8-month planning periods. And, I continue to promote my own 3-hour and all-day Internet training events every few months.

It seems like everyone I meet who has a shred of public speaking experience gets this idea in their minds of one day promoting a conference of their own. Instead of using this post to suggest what you should do, I would like to supply a list of things you SHOULDN’T do.

Please accept this “tongue-in-cheek” guide as 50 things to do if you really want to Kill a perfectly good seminar. Use it as a guide when promoting your own seminar or as a checklist for meeting planners to consider before YOU accept the invitation to accept a speaking gig, meaning, if they’re doing any of these, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. Or, you will soon find yourself speaking to an empty room.

  1. Don’t give enough time to promote
  2. Pick speakers who have a reputation for not promoting to their lists
  3. Encourage speakers to not talk with the other speakers during the pre-conference promotion
  4. Don’t have conference calls with potential attendees prior to the event
  5. Pick speakers that do not have a presence on social networks
  6. Do not replace a speaker that does not put a banner on their website to promote the event
  7. Do not offer bonuses of any kind when someone buys a ticket
  8. Don’t have an opt-in screen on the site. Just drive people right to the “Buy Now” button
  9. Don’t send any emails to the list you’ve attracted, even if you do have an opt-in field on your website
  10. Don’t have a blog for the event as people will certainly not want to know of your event building progress
  11. Announce on your site that networking breaks between speakers will be short
  12. Allow 60 minutes or less for each speaker and make it obvious to people that’s all they’ll get with each
  13. Choose a low-class cheap hotel in a bad neighborhood
  14. Make your price bigger than anyone else charges…”your” seminar is worth it after all.
  15. Don’t have a promotion team–you can do it all yourself anyway and keep all the dough
  16. Don’t offer the participating speakers 50% of the ticket price as referral incentive
  17. Rely solely on your speaker lineup to promote the event; surely they’ll send emails every day to their big lists
  18. Bank the success or failure of the event on 2 or 3 large groups coming together to fill your room at the last minute
  19. Promote to people who already know your product well, maybe even better than you!
  20. Don’t have a headliner who is a recognized industry leader
  21. Don’t have a celebrity speaker
  22. Don’t use the successes of your speakers in promotions; only feature their topic agendas
  23. Never tell a speaker to promote to their list; they’ll take it upon themselves to do it anyway
  24. Never join the email lists of your speakers to make sure they are promoting the event and call them on it when they don’t
  25. Pick an area of the country that has heavy hitters and frequent appearances from them in their own back yard
  26. Pick a date on the day of a major sporting event
  27. Pick a day that has a seminar just like yours but bigger on the same day or two weeks before or after
  28. Pick a date five days before or after a major holiday
  29. Don’t make your event sound critical or vitally important to attend
  30. Don’t provide sales copy for your speakers to use in their promotion efforts
  31. Avoid sending mailings to all businesses in a five square mile radius of the event
  32. And, certainly never follow-up those mailings with a cold call
  33. Do not alert all local meet-ups (at Meetup.com) that the event will happen
  34. Never offer a giveaway as a taste of what attendees will get
  35. Try to promote a big event when you haven’t successfully promoted a small one yet
  36. Don’t attend potential feeder association events to alert members that your seminar is coming up
  37. Make it obvious that you are really doing a “sell-i-nar” instead of a seminar; people never want to really learn anything but they love being sold to!
  38. Don’t offer an early bird price, because your seminar is so special people will be beating the door down to attend
  39. Don’t have a conference call so that speakers can introduce themselves to the other speakers and the team as this would only make them more part of a team working together
  40. Do not persuade speakers to interview each other and do crazy things like conduct tele-seminars with each other because that would be exposing them to each other’s clients and list
  41. Do not seek volunteers (like local Toastmasters members) to help at the event; they never tell anyone they’re helping at a seminar when they get the opportunity
  42. Do not have a tested method for taking online orders and orders by phone; they’ll always send you an email if there’s a problem
  43. Do not worry about having an affiliate program for affiliate marketers to promote your seminar
  44. Do not have a path and process to instruct paid attendees that they can now start recommending your seminar to others and get paid commission on the sales
  45. DO have a very scary photo on your website and never test a different photo; no one looks at them anyway
  46. Never track visitation statistics for your seminar website; you won’t have time with all those orders rolling in
  47. Don’t plan for how many visitors to the site you will need in order to get the amount of attendees you want
  48. Avoid those long sales letters for your event website; no one really buys from them anyway
  49. Definitely don’t use testimonials as no one reads them or watches them
  50. And above all, do NOT have a project manager on your team that relentlessly gets a ton of work accomplished quickly without whining about it; “get-it-dunners” are over rated

What else can you think of that will kill a perfectly good seminar? List your comments here and we’ll have a complete list!

Hopefully you know I’ve written these totally tongue-in-cheek. Turn each phrase around to the positive and you will have a recipe for success EVERY time you launch a workshop or seminar promotion.

Most importantly, though, it is always my intent to inspire others to attend seminars whenever they get the opportunity. Attend at least 4 conferences or seminars per year that are directly tied to your industry so that you remain on the cutting edge of what’s happening.

I make sure to spend an average of $20,000 a year just on furthering my own education and networking efforts by attending seminars and conferences around the country. That means actually BUYING…yes BUYING…what speakers sell from the stage. Attending a seminar is really just about being introduced to speakers so that you pick the ones you like and want to get to know more. You buy their stuff and learn more about the strategies that work for them.

But, when you decide one day to assemble your own seminar full of speakers, that’s a whole different game. My hope is that you will use this list in your seminar promoting efforts. After all, I don’t want to hear that you are responsible for killing a perfectly good seminar!

Improve Internet Marketing Results for Your Business or Company with These 7 Tips

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Oct 29, 2009

Either have your own business or work for a company if you are reading this post. You’re beside yourself why your Internet marketing efforts have produced stagnated results. You’ve spent hours building followers on Twitter but no one seems to care about what you tweet. Your lead generation has come to a screeching halt and product sales through your shopping cart are even worse. Is this what you can expect for the remainder of the year?

No! Stop the bleeding right now.

Here are 7 tips to give some much needed chest compressions to your dying Internet presence:

1. Look at Your Website for the First Time – If you could suddenly step out of your body and become 1,000 visitors to your website, what would you “expect” to see? Does your website offer what your visitors expect? Be honest and then add the missing pieces that come into mind. Does a strong “upper right quadrant” (URQ) exist on your website? Do you top navigation buttons inspire people to take action by clicking on them? Do you provide content of value on your website that doesn’t always throw the hard sales pitch? Are you absolutely positively sure that a visitor knows exactly what they are supposed to do next after they have found what they’re looking for on your website? I’ll ask it again: Are you really sure?

Why try for 100,000 visitors a month to your website if you’re not able to convert the visitors you do get to leads or customers?

2. You Get One Click – In Steve Krug’s book, Don’t Make Me Think, he gives a great walk through of website usability and how websites should be constructed. Read his book, but at the same time, think to yourself “I lose 50% of my visitors every time I make them click on anything.” So, if you want to only make one change to your website, add a quote form or contact form to your most important product or services pages…and especially to any landing pages where you are running pay-per-click ads to. If you only get a single click, you want that to be a prospective customer completing a quote form and “clicking” the submit button.

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3. Purpose Your Content - Don’t just add a page to your blog or website for the heck of it. Have a direct purpose for everything you add. If you’re going for getting more pages indexed on Google, for example, find what people are searching for related to your industry or topic first, and then write your article or page to speak to those visitors. Use free tools like Google’s free keyword search tool or Word Tracker’s free search tool to find search volume for any given phrase. These tools will also act as a thesaurus to give you ideas of other related phrases people are searching for.

After all, it’s a lot easier to be hit by a car if you go out into the street! Create your content for what your visitors are searching for.

Now, you don’t always have to produce content only for Google search. This post, in fact, doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting in the top 10 search results with a giant keyword phrase “improve internet marketing” as my leader phrase. And, it’s not worth my time to go through the heroics of what it would take to make that happen. But, that’s okay, because my intention is to promote this particular post on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and a variety of other social networks where the headline itself will hopefully be intriguing enough for people to want to pay a visit. After all, Google is only 1 of more than 100 ways to get traffic to a website.

4. Expand Your Traffic Options – Once you have tested and tweaked your website to increase your conversions, evaluate all the ways to increase traffic to your website. My most downloaded white paper on my company site is called 101 Realistic Ways to Get Traffic to a Website. It’s a 30-page free download that walks you through all the traffic generators I know of. What’s better is that they’re all sorted by cost, ease of implementation, time to implement, and ROI. You can make your entire Internet marketing plan for the next two years using that single document.

5. Get More Involved – When a struggling business owner, author or speaker comes to me saying their website is not performing to their expectation, my first question is 1, how many leads or sales did you get last month. That one is easy. They usually say zero. Next I’ll ask, how much visitation did you get last month? Almost always, “I don’t know” is the answer. Knowing the answer coming next, I still ask it…”Can you make changes to your own website?” A long pause usually occurs and then I hear, “no” as the answer.

If you still have to send even minor text changes to your designer to be added to a page, right now is the time for you to take steps to change that! Joomla is a free content management system that designers like because of its design flexibility and visual editing features. Programmers prefer Drupal for its power and clean code…but you’d better have a programmer in tow if you go with that system. My personal favorite is WordPress. At the Thrive Internet Marketing Super Conference in Chicago, I’m going to show you some uses for WordPress that you might not even imagine are possible! Even if you’ve heard of WordPress before, you haven’t seen anything like this! It’s the new evolution of websites.

6. Perform Mind Magic – It seems easier to introduce this topic using those words than it is to tell it like it really is. People get all bent out of shape when I say “Spy on your competition.” So, think of it as performing mind magic instead. Truth is, in this day and age, you really need to keep up with what your competition is doing. One great tool for doing this is Keyword Spy. There you can plugin your competitors domain name and see all (well, most anyway) of the organic search phrases that come up on Google pointing to their website. You can also see if they are running Google AdWords campaigns as well as the wording they’re using in those AdWords and how much they’re spending per month.

This is by far illegal. It is simply market research. But when you use that information correctly to apply to your own website and promotions, people will think you’re performing some kind of “mind magic.” So, that’s what you want to tell them…or, risk being accused of spying!

7. Create Something Memorable – On my HereNextYear site, you’ll see my mascot. It’s a picture of a dog. It’s not my dog. It’s just a picture. The picture has a name. His name is “Action.” The idea behind Action is that I can teach you everything I’ve learned about increasing leads and sales on the Internet, but unless you’re willing to “take Action,” it’s a waste of time for both you and me.

When I present that at seminars and workshops, people simply go CRAZY! It’s a great opener and it is very sticky, meaning, it sticks in peoples’ minds for a very long time. I get calls from people months after they see me speak. They’ll say, “Marty, I don’t remember what you do, but you’re the guy with the dog, right?”

It’s memorable. It’s sticky. It sells. Action sells! Action even has his own Fan club on Facebook (which you are welcome to join here)! And, I take “Action” in everything I do and everywhere I go.

What character can you create that is related to your business that can be sticky and memorable like Action is to my business?

So, these are just a few of the things I’ll be covering in much more detail at the
Thrive Internet Super Conference in Chicago. Why not join me there on the 19th and 20th? I’m sure it will be worth your while.

If you’re just not into going to seminars anymore for fear of getting those dreeeeeaded sales pitches, well, checkout my recent blog post where I give you 101 reasons to attend a seminar. They each far outweigh any fear you may have of getting pitched.

Hope to see you there in Chicago!

7 Steps to Getting Started for New Internet Marketers

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Oct 29, 2009

Getting started on the Internet seems to most to be a hugely daunting task. But, with a few good guidelines, you will be amazed how easy and fun it really can be. Here are 7 steps to getting started for new Internet marketers:

1. Know What’s Selling Online – If nobody’s buying it and nobody’s made it yet, that most likely does not mean “opportunity” for you. So, don’t get fooled. If you want to know what people are spending their money on right now, today, one great way is to go to Amazon.com and search a category of interest. The results you get will be sorted showcasing the best selling products in that category.

2. Enjoy Being Online – If you don’t like candy, you’ll be miserable in a candy store. So, before you go putting time and effort into learning how to make money on the Internet, you must learn to enjoy sitting at a computer and typing things. Of course, I could also add-in there using your mobile device. Social media is a great way to learn to enjoy working online. Join Linkedin, join some groups and participate in some discussions. Create a Facebook profile and reconnect with friends. Start tweeting on Twitter and inspire people to “follow” you because the quality of your tweets are actually worth paying attention to. User your personal name for all of your profile account names such as Twitter.com/MartyDickinson so that people can easily find you in the future.

3. Engage Offline Networking – An online business is a lot like a traditional off-line business in that financial success in both requires “people” to buy from you eventually. Go to Meetup.com and search for a group that meets near you to discuss certain topics. I just launched a few days ago, a Meetup group of my own called “Ski With Marty,” for example. Business owners, authors, speakers, and anyone else who wants to network and get some exercise can hook up with me every Wednesday during ski season at one of our world class ski resorts here in Colorado. By the time we have our first networking event on December 2, my goal is to have 100 members in the group. Checkout Meetup.com/SkiWithMartyInColorado if you’d like to see a sample Meetup group page.

4. Love to Sell – To be successful in any business, you must adopt a deep-down belief that anything you choose to promote is not really “selling,” but more of a “recommendation” of something you’ve experienced to make other peoples’ lives better. The fastest and cheapest way to do that is to find other peoples’ products to sell, try them for yourself, and start recommending them to others. These are known as “Affiliate Products.” ClickBank.com is my favorite for finding digital, downloadable affiliate products to sell and you can often contact the product producer and request a “review copy” of their product, which is FREE of course. Their hope is that by you having the product in-hand, you will have a better understanding of the product and will give more accurate recommendations. Continuing with my example of Amazon in step 1, they of course have an affiliate program as well. But, they only pay 4% of the sale price. So, the only products worth promoting on Amazon, in my opinion, are larger ticket items (over $75).

5. Register Domain Names – Whenever I am asked “Where do I register a domain name,” I steer them to BestDomainPlace.com. That is a domain name that I registered to point to my affiliate account. When you register a domain name for promoting an affiliate product, use the URL Forwarding feature (free with BestDomainPlace.com) where a tutorial is provided. Promote your affiliate products in your social networks and whenever a related subject comes up at your in-person networking events. Last week I was talking with a parent at my kid’s school about Internet stuff and suggested she buy a domain name for her personal name at BestDomainPlace.com. Sure enough a few days later, I saw the order come in.

6. Offer Your Services – Everyone has something of value they can offer. What is the one thing that you are truly really, really good at? Connect with others on your social networks (because you enjoy doing that by this step) who are in a related area to the service you want to provide. For example, one of the services I offer is creating websites for business owners, authors and speakers. So, I went to my Linkedin profile, logged in, clicked on “Groups,” and search for “authors” then joined a group, “professional speakers” and joined a group, and then “small business” and joined a third group. Within about 60 seconds, I was connected with over 16,000 people around the country who were in my direct target audience for a service I offer. Now all I have to do is participate in the groups and offer valuable content and the contacts begin.

7. Produce a Product – If you have an idea for a product, someone else has surely produced something close. At a recent Affiliate Marketing Meetup session, a good friend and former client who went off on his own to make $40,000 a month selling affiliate products online said, “Start off small by creating your own e-book, but first buy a few of the top selling e-books for that topic and use the best parts of each to create your product.” Now, he wasn’t suggesting you just copy and paste other peoples’ books into you own. But you can use concepts of how items are presented and rewrite them with different words and different examples. And, of course, add-in your own best stuff to make the product truly unique and the best on the market. If it’s a digital, downloadable product, get it added to ClickBank.com so that other affiliate marketers will have the opportunity to sell it for you.

All of these steps and I haven’t even talked about “Starting a Website” yet. That just goes to show that there is so much you can do to get started on the Internet these days, in your spare time, on a shoestring budget. Then, when you earn a few bucks, use that income to broaden your reach…and that’s when a website, or 5, 10, 50 websites come into play.

The best time in the world to get started on the Internet is right now, today.

Why Attend a Seminar? 101 Reasons

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Oct 28, 2009

Seminars are designed to give you tons of usable content on a variety of topics. The other purpose of a seminar is to get you introduced to several experts in a short amount of time.

When you hear someone you like who is able to speak to “you” and your situation, it is only natural that you would want more from that person. You wish you could just sit side-by-side with that person and suck them dry of their knowledge and experience for the rest of the week! You want more than their measly speaking slot allowed for, right?

Hence the offer or the dreaded “sales pitch.”

Ask anyone why they don’t like going to seminars and their reply will always be the same, “I hate getting those looooong sales pitches.”

And it’s true. No one likes to get a sales pitch. But, we don’t want to be left hanging either, do we?

Think about it. If a speaker just spewed an hour or 90-minutes of straight content and then said, “Well, good luck with that. Hope I got it all out and hope you took good notes,” what would you think? You would leave frustrated and probably pretty ripped off.

A good seminar speaker will always give you tons of content you can use but yet provide a way for you to get even more.

So, expect it. Live with it! And, even get to the point where you appreciate the typical seminar format (sales pitch and all) and you will be able to see the many more benefits of attending seminars and conferences.

In case you’ve been steering clear of seminars for a while purely because you don’t want to get “sold” on something, let this be a refresher by offering 101 reasons why you should attend seminars:

  1. Learn new information from the presenters
  2. Meet new people and share experiences
  3. Brainstorm your ideas and get immediate feedback
  4. Get new product or service ideas by hearing about needs in your industry
  5. Get spin off ideas from others, meaning, you might tell someone you main idea and then they’ll suggest you create something slightly different
  6. Evaluate the latest tools and technology to help grow your business
  7. Hear the same information you might know already but from a different angle from a different speaker so that you have an even better understanding of the topic
  8. Find investors in your business
  9. Allow time for creativity by getting away from your daily routine and working “on” your business instead of “in” your business
  10. Get inspiration from success stories shared by speakers and others you meet
  11. Buy products at the best possible price that can save you time and money and are not sold in stores
  12. Surround yourself with like-minded people for engaging conversation and meeting new friends who understand you lingo
  13. Connect with joint venture hosts to potentially promote your product to thousands of people
  14. Practice your in-person networking skills
  15. Expand your social networking followers by inviting them to connect with you online
  16. Observe how the heavy-hitters in your industry use use their time at the events
  17. Get answers to your business questions and challenges
  18. Get presentation materials to take home with you for later study
  19. Learn of free resources you can try later
  20. Chance to win something if there’s a contest (I won a laptop last year!)
  21. Learn facts and statistics that will help you better undertand your market and industry
  22. Get content to use in your own presentations, without plagiarizing of course
  23. It’s a tax write-off
  24. Increase your email list by getting other peoples’ business cards and contacting them later to have THEM sign-up to be on your list
  25. Get away from your normal work environment for a few days
  26. Keep up with your competition by learning the latest strategies in your market
  27. Get one-on-one guidance from speakers
  28. Discover there’s more to know even if you think you knew it all
  29. Pride: when you find out how much you really do know, you will gain a sense of pride in yourself and you will start answering other peoples’ questions
  30. Get business because there are probably people in the audience who need your help
  31. Hear stories of what to avoid
  32. Connect with people on your list that you’ve never met in person
  33. Evaluate how events are run
  34. After hours networking
  35. Making yourself visible
  36. Learn new procedures
  37. Make a product from your notes
  38. Record interviews with experts and make a product for sale
  39. Have someone interview you for a potential product for sale
  40. Get video testimonials while you’re there
  41. Get pictures with industry experts
  42. Determine who you don’t like
  43. Settle your fears
  44. Verify a hunch you have about a topic or issue impacting your industry by hearing the views of experts
  45. Update your understanding of an older process that has new steps
  46. Troubleshoot a problem you have that can only be solved by others who would attend a similar seminar
  47. Treat yourself to a relaxing pool or massage after the seminar sessions are over
  48. Transform your mood from being at a plateau to one of new possibilities
  49. Teach others what you know about your topic as a break-out presenter or just as part of the audience helping those around you
  50. Systematize a process you’ve only known pieces and parts of
  51. Receive large volumes of usable content within a compressed amount of time
  52. Satisfy your urge to be on the cutting edge
  53. Restore confidence in yourself that you are in the right industry and that your perseverance to succeed is worth while
  54. Recognize areas of opportunity that your business could be taking advantage of instead of being content with stagnation
  55. Realign your priorities so that your work time is better spent going forward
  56. Question the knowledge of experts in a public forum
  57. Purchase helpful products and services that you otherwise would not even know existed
  58. Plan a new direction and kill an old one once you find out how dead your old market really is
  59. Praise a mentor in person who’s virtual products, newsletters, or articles have helped you somehow
  60. Demo a software product to key industry influencers to get their opinions
  61. Overcome the fear of mixing and mingling with people you don’t know
  62. Volunteer to help so that you get to meet the event staff on a higher level
  63. Experience how some people make a lot of money in a short time
  64. Model after your favorite speaker’s presentation skills
  65. Acquire continuing education credit
  66. Meditate after hours on the influx of information you’ve just learned
  67. Locate vendors who support people in your business
  68. Launch a product of your own to a targeted audience by spreading the word and passing out flyers one-by-one
  69. Investigate a new law impacting your industry by seeking the opinions of experts
  70. Imagine the possibilities if you were to implement even 10% of what you learned at the seminar
  71. Identify key players that you need to become more acquainted with over the years
  72. Find contractors for hire or even be introduced to support staff that might be looking for a job you may be providing
  73. Formulate a new business venture if you run into just the right person
  74. Finalize business as you can recommend to a prospect that they meet you at the seminar
  75. Facilitate a dinner or be a co-sponsor for the open bar and get public recognition at the event
  76. Exhibit a booth to get direct traffic from your target audience
  77. Eliminate doubt by seeing a speaker live before you decide to hire them
  78. Diagnose problem areas in your business because a speaker went through the same problem
  79. Disprove a roadblock that’s been preventing you from meeting your goals
  80. Conceptualize a new business
  81. Compare your success with others you meet
  82. Accelerate your skills faster than reading a book in most cases
  83. Believe there is hope for success
  84. See a culture in another city or country
  85. Assemble a group of people you’ve been talking to by phone or email to conduct a coordinated book or product launch
  86. Calculate your operating budget for the upcoming year based on the new strategies you’ve learned
  87. Confront someone who has been badmouthing you in the social networks and resolve the complaint (peacefully)
  88. Build traffic to your website by passing out your business cards and giving people a reason to contact you
  89. Critique the work, ideas, websites of others because it’s not all about you
  90. Earn money by making a sale to someone who needs what you offer
  91. Make money by promoting an affiliate product to someone when the opportunity comes up in conversation
  92. Extract the true secrets of trends or processes from industry experts when you talk to them one-on-one
  93. Generate interest and intrigue about a new product you offer or are coming out with soon
  94. Observe audience reaction to the topics presented so you can see what your market is really interested in
  95. Separate yourself from family so that you can focus on business
  96. Test headlines, book titles, product names to get peoples’ reactions and suggestions
  97. Implement a new technique you’ve learned after the seminar session and ask questions about it the next day
  98. Reconnect with old friends you made at previous seminars
  99. Solidify the bond between you and your clients as you invite them to attend the event together
  100. Recruit speakers to present at your own seminar, conference, tele-seminar or webinar
  101. Because it’s fun

To get to or remain at the top of your game, you should plan on attending 4 seminars or conferences each year. Minimum 2. More than 10 and I would say you’re probably overdoing it, unless of course, your main business is getting connected with conference speakers or joint venture partners.

Carefully evaluate how your business fits in with seminar attendance and then start looking for the conferences to attend. I’m alerted every time a seminar, conference, workshop, tele-seminar or webinar is announced on the web thanks to Google Alerts. You should do the same so that you can pick wisely.

And, if you happen to see a guy running around in a black shirt with a HereNextYear logo on the shirt, be sure to say hi…because it’s me!

Sending Unsolicited Email Can Still Get You in Trouble

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Oct 14, 2009

Today a client asked me how he could get a list of emails for his market and send spam to them promoting his website using iContact. Here was my response:

I just got off the phone with a list provider I’ve used in the past called InfoUSA.com and they have a list of 888 total contacts in their database under the umbrella of “h-isniche.”

388 opt-in emails are on their list, meaning, people who have agreed to get email from them. InfoUSA will not give you this list of emails, but they will do an email campaign for you for $475 one-time. That is their starting rate, so you might be able to get that list number up higher targeting some other related categories and still only pay $475 for the emailing.

Call InfoUSA if you’d like to ask any questions or for next steps.

So, using that scenario, you would have InfoUSA send the email to their list on your behalf. Then you would offer something on your website as some kind of incentive for those email recipients to sign-up onto YOUR email list (the opt-in form would be provided by iContact). That could be a coupon or a free report that could be as simple as “5 Ways to Know You’re Getting the Best Deal on Your Niche Product“. Then you would be able to build your own list and send to them whenever you want using iContact.

In talking with iContact this morning, I did discover that we can now import existing lists to iContact and start sending email out. It used to be that they required an authorization email to go out first to the list you import (like Constant Contact still does) to verify that those people really do know who you are and want to receive your emails. That no longer appears to be the case.

So, you could certainly canvass your existing customers and get their email addresses and then import them into iContact. Then new visitors to the website would add their name and email to that list as well.

I’m sure we could use some kind of hacker script to go scrape solar sites and get email addresses. But, that’s not an ethical way to build a list.

I strongly suggest staying away from visiting websites, copying and pasting email addresses, and sending blankets of unsolicited email to them. That will get you in trouble.

The question you will ask yourself as a result of that statement is “Everybody does it, why can’t I?” Well, the reason people do spam and get away with it is because the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) cannot find who the sender is to fine them thousands of dollars. True spammers spend their days creating programs that use other peoples’ IP addresses to send their broadcasts from and fake addresses where the companies supposedly reside. People like you and me who would send genuine emails to people out of the blue would get reported and blacklisted and fined and all kinds of potentially bad things. Best to avoid it all and focus on getting people to opt-in to your list and build your list over time.

So, those are just some findings for you.

The alternative, and maybe a happy medium I suppose, would be to simply search google manually and find all the sites you can like hisnichecompetitor.com and then call them on the phone and ask for an email address of the person that would make the buying decision. Then you could send an individual email to that person saying “nancy” or whoever “suggested I send this email to you with the following information…” and invite them to come to the site and opt-in to your iContact list. At least you would have “semi” permission that way.

Hope that helps.